• Richard Strauss
  • March 2024
  • Dublin



A royal, Succession-like power struggle. Lust and death at every turn. A king who desires his wild and wilful step-daughter. Her erotic fascination with a condemned prophet. The result is a horrific trade. Based on Oscar Wilde’s play.

Strauss’s landmark opera was greeted with shock, horror, excitement, awe, respect, censorship, scandal, condemnation, just the kind of responses that fill theatres and cinemas to this day. The music, sweet, sour, erotic, frenzied, often dizzily thrilling, has not been blunted by time. Salome is still one of the wildest and most rewarding rides you can experience in an opera house.

Running time 1 hour 45 minutes.

Sung in German with English surtitles.

In association with Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

“Campbell-Wallace’s soprano was undoubtedly impressive, and it was thrilling to hear a voice of such heft and fullness in the role.” - Bachtrack, on Sinéad Campbell-Wallace
“an exceptional musician and a superb actor . . . Just when you thought he had given everything the voice opened up even further and found even more thrilling reserves of power.” - Opera Traveller, on Vincent Wolfsteiner
“...there was something special about the engulfing warmth of mezzo soprano Imelda Drumm...” - The Irish Times
“appealing tone and unerring theatrical instincts.” - Voix des Arts, on tenor Alex McKissick
“Bruno Ravella’s haunting, deeply humane production” - The Guardian
“Once, in Berlin, I went to Max Reinhardt's ‘Little Theatre’ in order to see Gertrud Eysoldt in Oscar Wilde’s Salome. After the performance I met Heinrich Grünfeld, who said to me: ‘My dear Strauss, surely you could make an opera of this'! I replied: 'I am already busy composing it’.” - Richard Strauss
“The impression it made was stronger than ever and I am firmly convinced that it is one of the greatest masterpieces of our time.” - Gustav Mahler, the day after a performance of Salome

Cast and Creative Team


Sinéad Campbell Wallace Salome
Vincent Wolfsteiner Herodes
Imelda Drumm Herodias
Tómas Tómasson Jochanaan
Alex McKissick Narraboth
Doreen Curran The Page of Herodias
Julian Close First soldier
Lukas Jakobski Second soldier
Christopher Bowen First Jew
Andrew Masterson Second Jew
William Pearson Third Jew
Aaron O'Hare Fourth Jew
Eoghan Desmond Fifth Jew
Wyn Pencarreg First Nazarene
Eoin Foran Second Nazarene
Kevin Neville A Cappadocian
Leanne Fitzgerald A slave
INO Orchestra

Creative Team

Fergus Sheil Conductor
Bruno Ravella Director
Leslie Travers Set & Costume Designer
Ciarán Bagnall Lighting Designer
Liz Roche Choreographer
Chris Kelly Assistant Director
Mark Lawson Répétiteur & Language Coach
Elaine Kelly Assistant Conductor



On the great terrace of Herod’s palace, the young captain, Narraboth, admires the beautiful princess Salome who sits at the banquet table with her stepfather Herod and his guests. A page warns the captain that something terrible may happen if he continues to stare at the princess, but Narraboth won’t listen. The voice of the prophet Jochanaan (John the Baptist) is heard from the cistern below where he is kept prisoner, proclaiming the coming of the Messiah. Two soldiers comment on his kindness and Herod’s fear of him.

Salome steps out on the terrace, disgusted by Herod’s advances toward her. Jochanaan’s voice is heard again, cursing Herod and Herodias, Salome’s mother. Transfixed by this voice, Salome persuades the captain to bring the prophet to her.

At first frightened, Salome quickly grows fascinated and begs Jochanaan to let her touch his white body, then his black hair, and finally let her kiss his red mouth. The prophet forcefully rejects her. Narraboth, in despair over her actions, stabs himself. Jochanaan swears Salome will never kiss his mouth and tells her to save herself by seeking Christ. His words fall on deaf ears, he curses her as the daughter of an adulteress and leaves.

Herod comes out on the terrace looking for Salome. After commenting on the strange look of the moon, he slips in Narraboth’s blood and has hallucinations. Herodias dismisses his fears but Herod’s attention has turned toward Salome. When Jochanaan resumes the denunciation of Herodias, she demands that Herod hand over the prophet to the Jews. Herod refuses, maintaining that Jochanaan is a holy man who has seen God. These words spark an argument among the Jews concerning the true nature of God, until two Nazarenes relate the miracles of Jesus.

Herod asks Salome to dance for him. She refuses, but he wins her over by promising
to give her anything she wants in return. Ignoring her mother’s pleas, Salome dances for the king. Delighted, Herod asks her what reward she would like. Salome replies with a smile: the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. Herodias is delighted whilst Herod is horrified. He offers other rewards but Salome is adamant, and reminds him of his oath. He finally gives in, and the executioner goes to do his gruesome task. When the prophet’s head is brought to her, Salome passionately addresses Jochanaan as if he were still alive, and finally kisses his lips.

Herod, shocked and terrified, orders his men to kill her, and she is stoned to death.

Discover More

Salome | Trailer

Salome | In rehearsals